Power List 2017, Manav Thadani, Chairman, APAC, HVS
In January 2017, when news broke out that Paris-based Louvre Hotels Group acquired a majority stake in Sarovar Hotels and Resorts, not many knew that this deal was orchestrated was HVS. Manav Thadani revealed that the company was involved in the portfolio valuation leading up to the acquisition of the asset portfolio. In fact, its Investment Advisory division is expected to grow over the next few years as more transactions and institutional players enter the hotel space in India.
It is Thadani’s belief that transactions in India’s hotel industry will continue to grow in number of deals and also actual deal size. “We are beginning to see transactions starting to take place at replacement or even below replacement costs and that makes the Indian hotel sector particularly attractive to potential investors,” he noted. “Part of the reason for this is that many of the hotel projects built over the last decade took too much debt and now they have come under severe pressure. Some of the owners were real estate players who had too much leverage and as there main businesses are hurting they feel this is an easier exit option for them.”
Thadani brought HVS to South Asia in 1997 when the market was oblivious to the need for professional consulting expertise. Over the years, he grew the company into a well-recognised consulting, valuation and executive search firm before launching the Hotel Investment Conference South Asia (HICSA) in 2005. He later set up HOSI, THINC Indonesia and Sri Lanka conferences, a professional skills development vertical and most recently HVS Investment Advisory Services. By co-founding SAMHI, an indigenous hotel investment company, Thadani forayed into the world of hotel ownership on behalf of foreign institutional capital a few years ago. Hotelivate is the next step in his vision to provide one-stop-shop solutions to the hospitality sector with an eye on curating customised solutions by partnering with best-in-class firms that can assist hotel industry stakeholders throughout the lifecycle of a hotel.
However, when probed which of these business divisions he cherishes the most, he replied that the conferences are particularly close to this heart. “Apart from HICSA, we also run THINC conferences around the region including THINC Indonesia, THINC Sri Lanka and the soon-to-be launched THINC Innovate conference in Bangkok (May 2018). Going forward I believe our asset management business is going to grow tremendously, and in fact over the last 12 months has been our fastest growing service line and we expect to double our revenues next year from the current year. As part of Asset management we are also providing revenue management assistant to our clients and see this as an opportunity of growth not just in India, but other Asian countries too,” he said.
He is confident that the HVS Horizon is now secure because most of its businesses are in a stable state. Hence, he is personally spending more time in the Hotelivate venture, which will be a new comprehensive platform in the region for customised professional solutions within the hospitality industry.
“The industry for sure will hear more about the same in coming months as we have yet to fully launch this and I recommend you watch this space for more,” he conspiratorially remarked.
By Vinita Bhatia